Friday, September 3, 2010
A week ago today I arrived at Peninsula music festival in Targu Mures. I got the idea of attending from a group 27er a week earlier but I had a week long English camp to attend which ran into festival time. I figured that my chances of going were slim until I ran it by Justin and Jerod a couple nights into the camp. I figured that if they were down then I was down. Justin was in.
Friday, with the help of some great Romanians we made it to the festival before that day's music had started. Our wonderful host at the camp gave us a ride to Alba, took us around to a couple locations so we could find a tent, and even took us for some mici before dropping us off at the proper hitching spot. By then it wasn't a surprise that she would be so helpful to us. All week long she had been available to provide us with anything we needed weather it be materials/assistance for our English lessons or wine from the crama. We stayed at the hitching spot only 15 minutes before Paul stopped. Paul had a very little Daewoo and we had a lot of baggage. There we were, 3 of us and a lot of baggage and we still had to pick up one more. Now that's Romanian hospitality. Just and I were packed into the back seat next to my baggage while Mihai and Paul were in the front, the four of us bound for Targu Mures.
Paul seemed to be quite knowledgeable about the music that would be offered to us upon entering the festival. I, on the other had, was not at all knowledgeable about the music and that is what I liked so much about it. I was entering the gates to a musical world of discovery and I would leave with a list of newly found treasure. Unfortunately they wouldn't let us take the wine in so we left it in the car. Paul and Mihai went to watch Parov Stellar while Just and I continued on to the campground to set up. After stopping by the 27er tents Just and I were lucky enough to make it back to Parov Stellar and catch a few great songs, the first band on my treasure list of music. Asher showed up and we oriented him with the campground before making our way back to the Fest for some food and The Rasmus. After about 5 songs it was time to ditch The Rasmus and move on to the Ciuc commercial that was Dan Helciug si spitalul de urgenta. The entire time Dan was holding his Ciuc hand high. That show led us to the nights climax performance that was Gorillaz Sound System. I dig the Gorillaz but they're animated. I had no clue what to expect. It turned out being some great Gorillaz music with some interesting animations projected onto a large screen hanging from the stage. It was cool, unexpected, and it earned a great response from the crowd.
The night continued. Gorillaz Sound System was followed by some hanging out, and raising our glasses to the night before making our way to Freedom Music Arena(FMA). The Arena is where the djs go and where the party lasts until 5 in morning every night. We walked in to Fedde le Grand of the Netherlands spinning. After dancing until 3 am the music stopped. I was shocked when I realized that this guy was up there playing with his equipment, non-stop, from well before I arrived. A new-found respect for djs. The next addition to my treasure-list of music walked onto the stage and began playing not 10min after Fedde exited. One benefit of dj music is minimal setup time required. The Romanian group Suie Parparude commanded the crowd and packed the FMA. I will not try to describe the music but I will recommend checking it out. Time for bed.
Saturday pre-music highlights include a walk around Tg. Mures, pulling a painful metal splinter from my foot, waking up on the grass next to a swimming pool shocked and a bit scared having no clue where I was (not drunk, just really tired), and a nice phone chat with my parents. Music highlights started with Phoenix, a band from the 70's that fled communism and returned to Romania decades later to rock out. I hung out with Paul and Mihai at that show. Next to go on was Europe. We all knew just one song by Europe and patiently waited for it to come, "The Final Countdown". Following Europe we wandered to see part of Tricky and then headed for the FMA when it began to rain. Returning to our tents after another late night dance session we found our stuff a bit wet from the hole in the top of the tent(no rain fly). I through my rain coat up over the hole and climbed into my bag to pass out.
Sunday was cloudy, rainy, and cold most of the day. While many people were packing up there tents and leaving there was quite the influx of rockers sporting Korn shirts, the big act to go on that evening. When the music finally came the group of volunteers made it to the main stage after eating to catch most of what I would call the best act at the fest. Zdob si Zdub of Moldova mix traditional Moldovan and Roma music into their hardcore ska style of rock, added to my list. The Korn show that night brought back some memories of middle-school and high-school. Finally before leaving the fest to catch our 3:30am personal back to Alba we caught most of the one man show named DubFX, the final addition to my list concluding my first Romanian festival experience.
Cool things to mention:
Fire dancers, collecting our beer cups to recycle and earn bracelits and a "t-shirt", awesome group of 27ers and 26ers mixed, huge pool, hanging with the group plus Romanian friends drinking down our wine by the lake, hamsii, nothing got stolen.
Location: Târgu Mureș, Romania